Francine (Gidget) is desperate: her parents want to force her to come with them on vacation to Hawaii - just during the two weeks when her beloved "Moondoggie" is home from College. When he... See full summary »
Frances "Gidget" Lawrence lives with her widowed college professor father in Southern California. Anne is her older sister who is married to John Cooper, an obtuse but lovable psychology ... See full summary »
Frances, now 17, is still in love with Moondoggy. She can persuade her parents to allow them a journey to Rome, together with two of her and two of his friends. However they have to take an... See full summary »
Jessie Royce Landis
Rich socialite Chantal marries Eugene, a photographer, and everything seems blissful until her envious friend attempts to break them up. In desperation, she turns to her mother, but the advice she receives may do more harm than good.
When Mrs. Call's heart condition acts up, Tammy tags along in the trip to Los Angeles when the old lady is getting her surgery. Since there are no guest quarters in the hospital, Tammy gets... See full summary »
In the fourth of the highly successful Frankie and Annette beach party movies, a motorcycle gang led by Eric Von Zipper kidnaps singing star Sugar Kane managed by Bullets, who hires ... See full summary »
Tammy leaves the river in Mississippi to attend college, developing a relationship with Tom Freeman (John Gavin). Sandra Dee replaces Debbie Reynolds in this and the third Tammy movie. This... See full summary »
Joan Howell, a young and pretty maid-for-hire, meets and begins dating wealthy New York City businessman Tom Milford. Embarrassed about bringing him back to her tiny apartment that she ... See full summary »
Due to an accident while swimming in the sea, Francis meets the surfer Moondoggy. She's fascinated of his sport and starts to hang out with his clique. Although they make fun of her at first, they teach her to surf. Soon she's accepted and given the nickname "Gidget". But it's hard work to become more than a friend to Moondoggy. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Sandra Dee is probably best remembered as the energetic heroine of this surf-and-sand romance, a cute little film which unfortunately set the precedent for the moronic "Beach Blanket Bingo" musicals of the early 60's, most of which featured Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
In contrast to the those lame exercises in film making, "Gidget" is a modestly scaled and rather sincere little movie about a teenage girl coming to grips with romance over the course of one summer at the beach. Kewpie doll Sandra Dee was often derided for her acting skills, but she is effective and appealing here, and it is easy to see how she became a popular star and a role model for a generation of teenage girls. Arthur O'Connell and Mary LaRoche are warm and convincing as her concerned parents, and James Darren, as surf bum "Moondoggie" makes a suitably clean-cut love interest for Dee.
Like many Hollywood films of the late 50's and early 60's, a certain tension underlies the goings-on here. The movie is essentially all about sex, yet no one actually has any sex. To latter day audiences, there are a few thought-provoking and amusing moments: Gidget's best friend, BL, appears to be a lesbian, and the muscle-bound surfers pay a great deal more attention to their surf boards - and, surprisingly, to each other - than they do to Gidget's curvaceous girlfriends.
Cliff Robertson has the meatiest role as a confirmed surf bum who, prodded by Gidget's sincerity, has a change of heart. The "Four Preps" turn up to do a musical number at the beach party, and Darren gets to croon a brief ballad to Dee.
Like most of Sandra Dee's vehicles, this film is smoothly produced in the somewhat over scrubbed, colorful but artificial style the Hollywood studios had affected by the late 50's. Nonetheless, it does an effective job of showcasing its star and making its story points (the NY Times described it as "mild but perceptive"), and it conveys a real enjoyment of the sun, surf, and sand. So popular was "Gidget" that it spawned several -mostly wretched
film sequels, and two television series, the more fondly remembered of
which starred a young Sally Field.
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